Daresbury Supercomputing Centre 2
The super-computing centre is designed by Stride Treglown. Credit: via planning documents

Ultraviolet and super-computing centre next for Daresbury

Neil Tague

A 180,000 sq ft labs and offices complex, along with a proposal to shore up the UK’s tech infrastructure, will go before planning committee with approvals recommended.

The Ultraviolet plan, as revealed by Sci-Tech Daresbury this spring, is for an outline consent seeking consent for 180,000 sq ft of laboratory and office space.

The site in question is the vacant 6.4-acre development plot at the junction of the A56 Chester Road and A588 Daresbury Expressway, which is currently accessed from Keckwick Lane via the Innovation Way roundabout.

The nearest neighbouring buildings are Project Violet, the £17.8m project due for completion soon, and Techspace One and Two.

According to the design & access statement for Ultraviolet, the plan is for the offices and labs to be spread over five buildings around the site’s periphery. New footpaths will link the site to the 56 footpath, while Keckwick Lane could be remodelled to allow access to the upper part of the site.

Spawforths is the planning advisor for the project, which is designed by Seven Arhitecture.

Project manager 4ward Management, structural engineer Arup, transport consultant Curtins and landscape consultant Planit-IE make up the professional team representing Sci-Tech Daresbury, a partnership between Langtree, the Science & Technology Facilities Council and Halton Council.

Daresbury Parish Council has objected to the plans on the grounds of lightspill, encroachment and overlooking the village.

Ultraviolet Daresbury

Ultraviolet could offer 180,000 sq ft across five buildings. Credit: via planning documents

Promoted by the STFC, the 33.000 sq ft super-computing centre is proposed for a site next to the Bridgewater Canal and the Daresbury Firs, currently inaccessible by road – the Daresbury campus’ private road network would be extended to allow access.

Architect Stride Treglown is working with the STFC on the scheme, for which plans were submitted in summer. Arup, project manager Arcadis, quantity surveyor Rider Levett Bucknall, ecologist Tyler Grange and acoustics advisor Hoare Lea make up the professional team.

Stride Treglown’s DAS said the scheme “would enable STFC to remain at the forefront of large-scale computing in the UK and would provide the computational infrastructure necessary to support the UK into the middle of the century”.

Although it has said it does not object in principle to development, canal owner the Peel Group has registered a holding objection over various concerns, chiefly that building just 2m from the canal’s edge could result in adverse loading.

Officers advise members that this is a private matter between Peel and the applicant, stating that no policy-based objection is made – additionally, the lead local flood authority has examined the application, with no objection raised.

Halton’s development management committee meets on 7 December.

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